Just as with single family homes, the time eventually comes for condominium owners in complexes with amenities and common areas to re-decorate. This is usually due to age and/or condition of hallway carpeting, lobby furnishings, equipment obsolescence in “business centers” and other areas that buyers or visitors see when they initially come to see units for sale.
Lobbies are the first impression that most people see which can set the tone or level of expectation for the entire complex. If the décor and furnishings are dated or damaged, this “first impression” is hard to change – even if the unit they are looking to possibly purchase has been totally updated. Longtime residents may not realize this as they have become accustomed to – and comfortable with – the status quo however buyers, especially a younger demographic, may assume that the look and condition really doesn’t reflect the amount they are being asked to pay for a unit or their lifestyle.
Once the HOA and Bd. of Directors decide that it’s time to update, what’s the best way to proceed? Although most Bd. members may think that it’s just a matter of their personal decorating taste (and everyone has an opinion…), the first thing that should be taken into account should be deciding who the current demographic profile is of residents and also who has been buying into the complex in the past couple of years. Advice from a couple of REALTORS who do a lot of business in the complex is very helpful in setting the parameters of the project. If “30 somethings” are buying in and Baby Boomers are selling, an update to the business center, if there is one, would certainly be in order. WIFI, desktop computer(s), fax, printing and scanning equipment should be able to handle the current level of activity.
In order to decide on décor and style for the common areas, a visit to other condo complexes that are new construction or have recently been redone is definitely helpful. Another way to do this is to look at available listings online in these buildings since there are usually pictures of these areas. Of course, if your complex is built with a more traditional style, ie: crown moldings, columns, anything interesting or unique, it’s best to highlight those instead of trying to fit ultra modern décor into what you already have.
You might want to contact a stager for some advice as well. They aren’t all interior decorators but they do see what other condominiums have done and are a good starting point for color, furniture style, etc. and probably much less costly than a full interior decoration recommendation.
Once these parameters (and a budget) have been researched and discussed, the best way forward is to decide on 2-3 design recommendations for the full package to be presented to the Bd. or HOA for a vote. Much like “color plates” in new construction, these recommendations would be for whatever items are to be replaced, like carpet, paint color for hallways, furniture for party or recreation room, business center items, etc. as a group. Each would have a total price tag and would make it much easier to decide upon than having everyone feel obligated to express their preferences for individual items.
Keep in mind that the common areas and amenities should reflect EVERYONE’S taste and comfort and be done in the best way possible to create a ”first impression” that will make future buyers want to be a part of your condominium community!
“Condominium Living is a Special Way of Life – Condominium Marketing is My Specialty!”
© Anna Novikoff 2016